(Sports Network) – Gregor Blanco drove in the winning run in the ninth inning to lift Kansas City to a 3-2 win over Oakland in the middle meeting of a three-game series.
Blanco’s fielder’s choice grounder plated Alex Gordon with the decisive run to give the Royals their first win in five tries against the Athletics this season.
Jesse Chavez (1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief and Joakim Soria retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to record his 30th save for Kansas City, which has won four out five.
Craig Breslow (4-3) was tagged with the loss in his lone inning of work, giving up one hit and walking one for Oakland, which had dropped four out of six.
Gordon started the winning rally with a leadoff double past Daric Barton at first base and advanced to third on a Mitch Maier sacrifice bunt before Yuiesky Betancourt was given an intentional walk.
Oakland brought the infield in halfway and Blanco hit a ground ball that was gloved by a diving shortstop Cliff Pennington, who was able to get the force at second base as Gordon came home with the go-ahead run. Blanco stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw but was stranded when Chris Getz struck out to end the inning.
Gordon’s opposite field home run to left in the second inning got the visitors on the board. Oakland tied the game in the home fourth starting a run of three straight half innings in which a run was scored.
Matt Watson’s single to right field brought in Rajai Davis with the tying run before the Royals regained the lead on a Getz run-scoring ground out.
The A’s evened the score again when Kurt Suzuki doubled home Barton, who had walked with one out.
Royals starter Kyle Davis was lifted after five frames after yielding two runs — one earned — on five hits while walking five and striking out six.
Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and a pair of walks while fanning five in his six innings.
Jerry Blevins started the seventh inning on the hill for Oakland and gave up a leadoff double to Maier that was followed by a Betancourt single that put runners at the corners. Blanco bunted out in front of the plate and Maier was eventually tagged out in a rundown for the first out. After some confusion on the play, in which Betancourt was also tagged out while standing on third base, and the ejection of Oakland manager Bob Geren, play resumed with Betancourt at third and Blanco at second.
Getz popped out and Michael Wuertz was summoned from the bullpen and struck out Jason Kendall on three pitches to end the frame and keep the game tied.
Davies is 2-1 in five career starts against Oakland…He has not been involved in the decision in five of his last six turns and in 10 of his 21 starts this year…The Royals have won each of his last four road starts…KC’s Wilson Betemit went 0-for-4 and lost a seven-game hit streak…Mazzaro is 2-0 in three career outings against Kansas City…Blevins has not allowed a run in 15 of his last 16 outings, covering 11 1/3 innings…Davis went 0-for-3 and lost an eight-game hit streak.